Saturday 22 October 2016

Rural counties record highest levels of assault

Capital ranked ninth with Leitrim lowest on the scale

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

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The figures were provided by An Garda Siochana to the Central Statistics Office and covered the first six months of 2015

People living in Donegal are almost twice as likely to be assaulted than those living in Leitrim. An analysis of crime figures shows the county has the highest rate of assaults anywhere in the country, with 109 per 100,000 population, compared with 49 in Leitrim.

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However, of all the crime rates ex­amined in the Irish Independent's 'Crime Ireland' series, 'threats to murder/assaults' record the smallest gap between the best and worst-per­forming counties.

The figures suggest that a person living in Donegal is more than twice as likely to be the victim of assault and a related offence compared with someone living in Leitrim - the lowest gap of all the offences analysed over the week-long series.

But a clear urban-rural divide emerges, with the data suggesting rates of assault are higher in predominantly rural counties than in our major cities.

Donegal is closely followed by Waterford at 108 per 100,000, Laois (104), Cavan (102) and Kilkenny (97).

Dublin is ranked ninth among the 26 counties, with a rate of 82 per 100,000 population. The next highest urban area, Galway, comes in at 12th (76 per 100,000) and Cork follows at 17th (68 per 100,000).

At the lower end of the scale, Leitrim has the lowest rate at 49 per 100,000 population, followed by Offaly at 56, Tipperary at 57 and Sligo and Clare at 61.

The figures, provided by An Garda Siochana to the Central Statistics Office for the first six months of 2015, are recorded under the category of 'Attempts/threats to murder, assault, harassments and related offences'.

This includes attempts to murder, assault causing harm, poisoning, assault or obstruction of a garda.

It also includes resisting arrest, harassment, making menacing phone calls and incitement to hatred offences.

The data is based on recorded crime figures in 563 Garda sub-districts across the country.

The number of offences were divided by the population in each sub-district, and a rate per 100,000 population applied.

Of the sub-districts, the highest rates, unsurprisingly, occur in our major cities.

The highest rate is recorded at Anglesea Street in Cork, with 784 per 100,000 population. It is followed by Pearse Street in Dublin with 703, and Store Street, also in Dublin, which has a far lower rate of 448.

But from there the rate dramatically drops, with fourth on the list, the Bridewell in Cork, falling to 312 and Ballyconnell in Cavan with 306.

In more than 140 sub-districts, the number of assaults recorded were so low that a rate per population could not be calculated. In the highest ranked county of Donegal, the highest rate of offences is in Milford (276), followed by Letterkenny (268), Bundoran (260), Pettigo (167) and Donegal town at 160 per 100,000 population.

In Leitrim, which has the lowest national rate, Carrick-on-Shannon stands out with 132 offences per 100,000.

Crimes were only recorded in three other towns - Manorhamilton, Mohill and Drumshanbo - with none at all in Kinlough, Ballinamore and Carrigallen.

The difference between the counties with the highest and lowest rates is less pronounced than for all other crimes examined in the 'Crime Ireland' series. For burglary, people living in Wexford were eight times more likely to be a victim of crime than in the lowest-ranked Monaghan; Kerry has a public order rate 3.5 times that of Kildare, and theft rates in Dublin are almost five times those of Donegal.

For controlled drug offences, the rate in Dublin is six times that of Roscommon.

Irish Independent

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